and she did not -- of very difficult guy to live with. he beat his wife.th. he had several lives which is kind of the culture. and when he moved from. [inaudible] which is in the area near where she grew up. it was back to another homestead , lake victoria. she had had enough. he had a new, younger wife. so she ran away. and so she left the family whenf barack obama, the presidents,obm father was of very little boy. >> david maraniss, his grandparents in kenya died in 1979 and 2006. did president obama and for mei2 to?iden >> no. meet he never met his kenyan grandparents. he got there in the 1980's after
his grandfather died. he only met his own father, i e mean, aside from the very, very early days of his life, but he b did not get back to tinian and tell both of his grandparents were gone. he lived with his wife grandparent's. ..one so there's a dramatic difference in that part of the story. >> for barack obama the story how many interviews did you do over the course of the last four years? >> guest: i would say almost 400, and i had a wonderful assistant who helped with some of the leader interviews in the story but i traveled all over the world and so everybody could find in every part of the life of president obama and his parents and grandparents. >> host: barack obama sr. was born in 1936. what was his childhood like?
>> guest: from a fairly early age he was dealing with western culture in the british. he was a very smart kid. his father was difficult to get along with and was not often there mostly in the nairobi and he was growing up. he was lucky in the sense that he was smart enough to get into a very good school in that area, and although he never totally finished he was a very smart student. they had that clash of old and new. for all of his youth and adolescence he was in a colonial country in a very poor part of the kenya, so he lived in the
mud huts with cowles and no television and stuff like that. a century behind in some ways and get kenya was starting to emerge. the rebellion was beginning, the push for independence was beginning and the generalization he was a part of that. >> host: how long were you in kenya and what did you see? what was it like to be over there? >> guest: kenya was one of the great experiences of my life. every day was unforgettable. we were there for about two you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. tanner colby presents his thoughts on the social,
economic, and political factors, which according to the author of obstructed immigration in america. he is in conversation with jessica moore. a fellow at the museum of temporary africa dies a or really a. it's just under an hour. [applause] >> thank you for coming tonight. as she explained, i pulled the lever for president obama and about five minutes later said i don't know any black people. i started all my white friends in new york how many black people do you know, they're like two. that was the highest answer i got. i thought by going back and backtracking through my own life, my workplace and advertising and neighborhoods i would figure out why the stills were lily white 40 years after the civil rights movement, it
might provide some answers as to where we took a left turn after martin luther king died when we tried to integrate. i wasn't going read from the real estate section. proi filed an integrated neighbor different but thrar to park green in kansas city to read about the uncomfortable black and where i went to high school it was it was a suburb of birmingham, alabama. it is the most defiantly white neighborhood. i have a confederate flag on the high school diploma. my wife will not let me put it on the wall for many reasons.
[laughter] that was the first place i went when i started researching the book. we had school mild effectivenesses. first thing i went back is get on the bus because the busing program is in place there. and i went the principal and i said would you let me write the bus to oxford community and back. i hit the incredible woman who drove the bus but was one of the first students to ride it in the 1970s. her story was an amazing one. she was generous and sweet and took me along for the ride. this is the story of the ride from the first part of the book which is spitessed "letter from a birmingham suburb." it's way too early alistsha
thomas is warming up the engine of the bugs. he cranked the heat for the two boys who sit a few rows back. still bunked up. they're pulling up school books. up in the front row i hand her a warm cup of coffee which she invited me. she said thank you she was bright given the hour. we idle a few minutes. while she double checks garages. we are off. alistsha thomas drives the bus not the regular bus, the short bus. she drives the other bus. the bugs that bring the black kids. it follows the same well roan route along highway 30, down the far side of they mountain and into the ox more valley below. there the bus picks up the quota of federally mandated
immigration and hauls it back to my high school. it's a route she can navigate blindfolded. in the early '70s she road it as a student. it used to get cold. the boys to light campfires to keep us warm. you had carp fires, i say? at your bus stop? yeah. she said. we were so country. [laughter] less than ten miles from the million dollar cul-de-sac. it was little more a ramble and cries cross of back roads. there was a few ranch style houses if you could afford them. some had dirt floors. there wasn't much else to see in the ox more valley. it was a scrap yard. a garbage dump.
back then the ox more kids had to be up at k57 to walk through fields some upwards of a mile to reach the bus stop. in her day, the bus they road was a piece of junk lynching around the hair pin turns. the bus driver, some old white guy punching the wheel scared to death of the black children. i remember riding down the big hills, the brakes going out and the bus packed with kids. it was three to a seat with the rest on the floor or standing up with no air. here's the one old white guy driving the black kids. he couldn't handle us. what was the guy's name i ask. the question brings her up short. you know, in all the years of driving it us, i don't think he spoke to us. we called him shaky because he was nervous. [laughter] shaky, slow down! you're going to kill us! it sits south of birmingham, the
largest city in alabama and the largest industrial center in the south. together with the neighboring towns they formed a new place over the mountain the catch all term fortune the suburban scrawl you go over red mountain to get there from downtown. having lived there, i suppose i can say that the whites aren't any more or less racist in the ones in the other suburbs. when the school system was formed here in l 1980 the city went to great lengths to put it on display. they choose a mas cotted mascot with a -- he was an angry mark twain. the hat cooked back. a clenched fist. the official school banner was a confederate battle federal government. the stars and bars was on proud display. if you stumble on to a football game by accident, you might think you heard a clan rally
with the con suggestion stand. it's true. [laughter] that is the image they wanted and it stuck. to this day, racial instance plan the school on the 5:00 news. there are many that refuse to set foot in, quote reracist suburb. as a similarble it's white flag toes the civil right movement. aslishsha thomas arrived near 1981. friends had come the year before what is she encountered wasn't a u surprise. hunldzed around the bus stop campfire the stench of the smoke would stink up your clothes. you would hear what is that smell. thinging niggers stink. they had the classes in the corner of the calf tiara. still seg -- white teachers
didn't treat her fairly. my third grade teacher was mean. i had to say, i can read. i can write. one day she told me to get out of the class and go to the learning lab. i egg ignored her and read my book. it was the same when he went out for the volleyball team in middle school. the bus kids had to leave at 3:30. we didn't try out she said. i didn't know they could tell us not to try out. my parents had a car. they could have driven us back after school. the coaches told us no. so went her time there. still kind of separate not exactly equal. he looks back without regret. i don't feel like i got as much from the system as the other kids. i don't. we didn't have anybody fighting for us. but the little stuff i went through it's nothing. i'm okay with it. i didn't have anything growing up. and they gave me something i
probably didn't have. i know, how much it did for me. i hope i can do the same for my boys. her son, the young men doing the school work is the reason she's driving the bus today. after graduating she went to the university of alabama on scholarship. got married and settled west of downtown. she landed an office job in the personnel department at a store. then ten years ago sacks downsized and she was let go. she pondered what to do next an unlikely job offer floated in from the past. they needed a new bus driver. the children were ability to start cool and like all parents she wanted them to get into a good one. he moved from the busing zone in ox more and could afford to live there itself. every employee from the principal to the lunch lady can enroll the children for free. i knew it was the best. i decided to drive the bus. here we are are.
it's the end of the first leg of the bus ride. we reached the village where they waited for the bus with the campfire. she calls out a few other landmarks it is no longer the place it once was. in the past few years, the one time industrial strap yard had been consumed by suburban scrawl. the old shackses are still there. stilt unhabitted but surrounded by a sea of mansions, and condos. on one of the streets one of the frontiers between old and new the new money tower over the shacks across the street. she pulls over to let the boys out. they have to switch to the middle school bus. we pick up the high school kids. they climb in one by one plugged into the ipods or talking about the big playoff game. we head back to the high school newly renovated. the kids pile out to a steady refrain of thanks, study hard
now. it's back to the bus yard. her tale the strangely american phenomena of busing. after being one of the first she may be one of the last to drive it. because of the mansions. the 40 year saga of integration is coming to an end. on december 24, 2007 the district vacated desegregation order granting the school unitary status. no longer dual, no longer separate. as a slave holding nation that the principal that all men are created equal. they built the house on two ideas and been struggling to reach status every sense. the chapter of the struggle that contains the high school begins in 1954 with the landmark decision of brown v board of education. brown sweeping indictment of
segregated schools schools did nothing to eliminate it. for fifteen years they kept the blacks out. forcing the government to guide the solution and the solution they came up with was this. the school bus. in the same decade that america put a human being on the moon, our nation's finest minds could offer no better fix for 400 years ever slavery. just a nervous old white guy named shaky and with a junk bus with everybody screaming for him to slow down. the next section is more about new york, and it per stains to the advertising industry. i worked in are triesing for nine years. it's one of the problem biggest reasons i don't know any black people. [laughter]
i can count the number of black people i worked with on one hand. the piece i'm going to read requires a applicability of set up. it's about the employment side of the issue and more about the artistic side of advertising. what happened was i'm sure we're familiar with "mad men," is that when, you know, there was some token integration through the '50s and '60 late '70s the affirmative action forced hundreds of black people overnight into the industry. it was the rise of black power and such. if you can imagine dozen of young black militants shoved into sterling cooper. you can imagine how it well over. what happened was that blacks who worked in advertising hated it. they were disrespected. their talented were mar january alized. they said screw it.
they were out of here. they were young talented men and women. they said they can do it on their own. it was the black solidarity. if you're not going help us, we'll do it ohses. at the time minority business came along for -- more viable. and they were going to replace by richard nixon. george jefferson was a republican. black-owned -- it's true [laughter] so black left mainstream advertising agencies and set up their own across the street. it had an an interesting impact on the nature of advertising. because it's a vision of america had of itself. you had the the cream of wheat and as far as blacks were concerned in the world of advertising.
and in the '50s and '60s the pressure was you need to show integrated advertising. you need to show racially neutral advertising black and white people getting along. so it shows the nation we can be in the era of black power, it reversed itself and said, we need black advertising but we need positive black advertising and so the black agencies asserted that as their turf. we own that. and this is sort of the consequences of what became of that and what happened to the industry because of it. and the two people we need to know, two incredible men i was fortunate enough to interview because they have magic secret of longevity they're in the mid 80s and they're smart and capable still. and just really brilliant guys. roy eaten was the first black guy to write advertising for the white people. he was the jackie robinson of the industry. he worked there for a long
time. he didn't like the black agencies. he thought it was bad for them to form their own. you had a guy named byron lewis. he formed unit world. and he owned the lockest running most successful and lucrative black ad agencies in the america. byron and roy those were two people. >> they had demanded ma madison avenue -- that only black agencies could answer and translate to the market. targeting for the black consumer is a consideration more than a marketing consideration. asserted thomas burr rule of the communications. convinced head of another chicago black agency developed a school of principle he's called soul marketing completed with
cul how to use the boss and jive. in washington they used them to secure black ownership and broadcast licenses for radio and television. on madison avenue they used their rights to control the ad and the ways they were controlled on the air waives. with the sons and family. these were positive images that black america had never seen of itself in the national popular media. blacks had long been something to be ashamed of. it could be aspirationsal too. there was little awareness of blacks as people.
fbi a lot of people hope they could do things. under taken with the noble intent blase advertising would prove a difltd place to work. a lot of them don't. a car battery is a car battery. it doesn't start my car as all people want to know. there's so much of an inspirational spin. the first question he faced from the clientd, why is the bested a for my project, what's black about it? everything had to be racialized on some level to justify winning the business. otherwise why not simply go to a general market agency? so the need to blacken up black advertise left black agencies trafficking and stereo type of their own. in the late '60s blacked showed the cigarettes at higher average than whites just enough that tobacco companies saw a
narcotic to explore. -- they hired a black company. they made it someone use with black power. they featured a stern black man proudly introducing the cigarettes a bag of menthol smoking. new ports radio ad were broadcast live from black power rally calling them on to be the boldest brother in the country. it was a hid. hit. the textbook example in the power of aspirational advertising show people the world they want to live in and let the product take them too it. cools and merits on the black bandwagon as well. 70% of black smoker menthols. that's what we know. we snow that white people drink shard nay and wearing dockers at the concerts. the things we buy and the brands
we use are another way for us to project our preconceptions on to each other. that it exists instead of it fighting it they embraced it. after years of telling main stream agencies they had to market the black america, black agencies were saying that mainstream agencies couldn't market to black america. only black agencies were qualified to do that. in making their stand they cemented the constitution constitutional bias that kept them out of the industry. but i resist it. i could see it. still working at ben ton and bodle -- throaft stake their claim across the street marginalizing themselves the moment they stepped out the door. if they wanted black accounts
with few exceptions that's what they would get. despite the drawbacks with the black advertising niche became available and many agencies quickly defected. they offered a comfortable atmosphere. no black ceiling, decent money, and the chance to do important work. with no pressure to replace the black agencies didn't. when they checked black on black hiring in the industry the percentage had fallen from a high of 3.5% to a new low of 1.7%. both of those numbers include cuss dollial and clear clal positions. madison of a forgot about black people. they were free to go back to snorting cocaine and banging their secretaries. the basic power of the industry was not impacted at all. in the pages of ebony and black enterprise they were afforded to be reckoned with. and a serious contender for the
big budget accounts. they began to mask billings in the hundreds of millions. in 2000, black enterprises published the annual list of the black owned advertising agency. after decades of minority they counted 0.5% of the total revenue. all of the power stayed in the corporate board rooms. if power didn't exert power there. it had no real power at all. at idea of self-determined economy was a fantasy. it was ill separated with the cigarette man. the brother. lightening up a new port, sold a new bag of menthol smoking. profiteds went to the tobacco company which would be named in a 2005 lawsuit as the beneficiary of quote, assets required through the force of enslaved african-americans.
brother was shell fur the man. the idea that only blacks could advertise took along smoothly until december of 1983 with thriller on the way to becoming the best selling album of all time michael jackson landed a 5:00 million endorsement deal from pepsi. it was the biggest and it would hold the record until he reuped it for $15 two years later. bill cosby had one of the biggest shows on the tv. they brought hip-hop into the main stream. it became plainfully clear, culture doesn't have a color line. their arts may be rooted but once a great idea gets out it doesn't respect any boundaries. you can't take a business of ideas and mandate where black and white stuff is supposed to go. the division had nothing to do with talent and even probability. it was based on racial assumption. the only reason blacks couldn't
sell to whites they were rarely given the chance. the only reason they couldn't sell to whites because they were ignorant. after michael jackson -- [laughter] he started to consider the consumptions. sorting the talents on opposite sides of the street became a terribled idea in 1992. mchammer became the first rapper to land a major endorsement tale. they hired him to the spokesman for coilt fried chick. en. in infamous commercial he rolls to a kfc and no one can believe he is the mchammer. so hammer does the hammer dance an they give him fried chicken. [laughter] every black person in america looks up at the tv set and said really? black man dancing for chicken? america was becoming a multicultural marketplace.
madison avenue department have the have cab to communicate with the customers. there was no going back. no matter how the advertising industry had structured itself, the great american mixed tape kept on mixing. white kids started buying the rap cds and black kids hit the basketball courts. they took advantage of it. they made mchammer grade mistakes in the process. madison avenue needed black people. when agencies looked around the recruiting pipeline they weren't there. most aspiring black professionals were following their peers. they never thought to consider a career in advertising there weren't any black people to tell them about the wonderful opportunities for black people in advertising. all through the '80s for appearance sake most of the major agencies kept up minority recruitments policy. nothing was done to mentor the
people. very few struck around. few enough they are easy to find. as far as black created directors who are dining interesting work one said to me in my personal opinion there are seven of them. that's being generous. maybe eight? that's a problem. [applause] >> hi. i got a note. i would like to say that i would like to acknowledge mrs. montgomery. hello, state senator, how are you? [applause] just to keep it brief. my name is jessica moore. i'm a cure territorial fellow at
-- i work in a african-american museum. we are considering the book signing for mr. colby or for tanner. >> tanner is fine. >> kind of the unofficial kickoff for the speed book signing series. the fall, winter exhibition that opens on september 18. so the book signing is going to include three different books, the first will be our kind of people written. the second will be "occupy" and she wrote the article. we're going to start with
multiculturalism in the '90ings and education and we're going end with hot top irks that are happening in advertising and media right now having to do with post blackness and the idea of assimilation and what it means. and is it another word that someone mouse with immigration? i went to high school in the south. i went to high school in georgia. and that's a lie because it was another town in georgia that was thirty minutes south. i understand the polarized football games. one side is black and and the other side was white. the black kids went out one night and the whites went out another. you were born? '75? >> yes. >> it happened about ten years after we had brown v board of
education, correct? >> yes. >> desegregation took effect around the time you were born or starpted heating up around that time. >> right. until '68 and '69 and the supreme court told people to get into it. >> by the time you were a teen, it was '90s that the era of multicull rich, tlc and the background and living color in all over the place. what did integration look like for you personally as a teen, did you notice it? >> we didn't have multicull really aism. with idea had come about yet. we had one black student in the multicultural awareness club. i'm not kidding. so the mull cultural era was a little bit more when i got to college. you know, my -- my high school was the '80s well into the
early '90s in the high school. it was very much like, oh, there's the cosby show and housing projects downtown. that was our idea. shame as it is to admit. until i started digging into this, i thought the black kids on the bus came from downtown. when i was 12 i thought downtown is where black people come from. why did i know? the idea they came from a rural, poor town was cleeltly new to me when i started researching the book. >> so there's a entrepreneur. jump -- you start with the election of president obama, you voted, you put down the ballot for barack obama. and you had the realizization there's no one integrated into my life fabric i would consider african-american or black. what was the process like of doing a research and coming to consciousness about kind of the very fie nier quote we call the
american life. >> it was a very slow process. i can tell you exactly what happened. which is the first phone call i made to my friend who is standing back there, who was one of the only black high schools. she said you're crazy. go for it. she's been helpful and her family. they opened her doors to me and told me their stories. when you're a white person and you delve into this kind much thing you send your year and a half in the state of moral outrage. o'my gosh, the horrible things the country has done. >> white guilty. >> yeah. white guilt, moral outrage. van met me then. one of the guys i wrote about in the advertising chapter. he lasts about meting me.
then you realize how useless moral outrage is. you can't see the problem for what it is. so you eventually put that away and you're like, oh this is even but fascinating. so let's just understand it so we can pick it apart and move past it. i think the reason white people stay away from really engaginged with topic because the first thing you encounter is the white guilt. and you don't want to go there and it makes you feel bad. what white people don't realize once you go through that. it's awesome. you're like totally comfortable talking about it. you don't have to be one of the white people like, yeah, racism is bad. you know. you can -- [laughter] i was at an advertising party with a not van but another guy i met. we were talking to a white girl and i said something i don't remember what it was. it wasn't offensive. it was candid.
it said race and advertising. everybody is like oh my gosh. you can't say that. he's like you can say whatever you want. she's like, really? [laughter] and he's like, it's cool. you can say anything. she's like, oh. i guessn't i do have anything to say. the grail great thing about delving into that you can move a past that and engage with, you know, black people and anyone really on a more intimate and intunlt intellectual level. it's not talk abouting -- learning races. white people need to eat their vegetables. which is the wrong way to go about it. it makes people not to not want do it. it's fascinating and interesting, it makes you a better, more interesting person and, you know, gives you a wider
range of movement in society because we are welcoming -- becoming a more diverse society. >> as being from the south, it's different terminology as we refer to people. white people and black people they said it look like. in the south it's like white people and black people. [laughter] it's very, you know, people aren't from the south the way people intone on the words they go -- they're like why did you say it like that? as you talk about becoming comfortable with the information and talk about being able to more eloquently and involve yourself with people considered part of the african-american community. i want to know how you came to the editorial decision to use black and white. sometimes white writers say can i say black or is it african-american? i met someone that don't like
that term. black implies indian or african-american as well. >> yes. >> right. you included him. how did you come to understand that word? >> a couple of reasons. one was word count. my book was already too long. if i used african-american every time i used the black i would have added 5,000 words to the book. i was already running out of room. the other main consideration was really not so much a political one. i was i writing all the way from the ear are a of color water town fountains and negro era. where do we use one or the other. do we pick one and run with it? because of the book comes from the era of, you know, i sort of pref face with a little bit of the desegregation area. it's about white and black power was when inte grate gracious
came and broke apart to the black and whites. i thought they are two very, you know, clear terms of the period that we're talking about. so we have the '90s we start talking about african-american and caucasian-american and put a tone on it it made it more digestible. unless i was making specific reference to a colored water fountain or quoting someone in modern terms who preferred the term african-american. i'm going make it easy on myself, everything is going to be black or white. that was the reason for that. >> another thing about terminology. you use word integration and desegregation interchangeably at times. time sometimes they interpret desegregation or use the word to reference the fact that integration never really happened. but desegregation as far as separating everybody happened.
everybody was separated but kind of categorizing happened and bringing them together again was integration. so was it intentional you used the word interchangeably. >> if i used thement interchangeably it was inned aer inadvertent. i tried to be more specific about how i was using them. i may have used them interchangeably. it wasn't a conscious decision. but, you know, desegregation to me more has the legal aspect of it. saying you can't have colored water foundations and integration was the period where white people took the water fountain and built a golf course. that's how i would define the two terms. >> referring to the water fountain and the green grass and the turf and the other water foundation. here is a quote from the chapter, what can brown do for you. i found that federally mandated in the racist sub wish did not
come to an end because white people were trying to keep black people out. it ended because black people weren't willing to move in. as you write about the difficulty of maintain the black schools and churches. inweekend it the conversations in the book, it's a question how did white communities -- in your book you write about it. how did they manage to develop successful black communities struggle to do so. what did you research show in answer to that? >> white people have all the money. >> good point. [laughter] >> yeah. i was talking to someone, you know, who said, you know, talked about the affirmative action for white people. it's basically, you know, white people basically appropriating. the white people have affirmative action.
people people don't have affirmative action. they have money. and huge voting majority. it's different from affirmative action that said you can have this much. so young the fact that the white people were, you know, they moved to the suburbs, they had complete absolute voting majorities for themselves. you can have a house thunderstorm watch for this size and this much property tax. we don't have any public transit to come that way. it warded itself in a de facto segregated way that blacks weren't able to do. we need to stick together and block vote and, you know, and given the way that the blacks were treated when they moved
into white neighborhood, it was a very, you know, reasonable reaction to have the at the time. unfortunately, again, white people had all the money and so black people didn't have enough turf to control themselves in an on ton mouse way. you go back and read the issues of the a magazine where bay yard rustin and howard cruise and the first black governor on the board of reserve they write about how separatism is going to stand. it's a wonderful romantic theory that, you know, we have a strong black society we should have a strong black cultural base we use as a forward leaning, you know, base of operations -- places [inaudible you look at the artistic movement it was forward leaning in america. it wasn't a retreat and control our own turf black community
here. but far too many in birmingham and detroit those places are like this is yours. you take the suburbs and we'll play it look that. it didn't work because [inaudible] financial resources. >> in the preview of the book signs that was released today written by rachael, is rash l -- rachael out there? how are you? nice. thank you. i appreciate it. there's a comment that is in there and there's also in the bhok, of course, that highlighted the idea that integration did not happen in a consistent way because perhaps black people or the black community did not want it to happen. they did not want integration. and my first question toward that, was it your intention to be highlighted as a thesis for your weak, and the second question is, do you think that perhaps the idea of integration,
which is largely framed as black communities picking up the integrated in to white communities is a coded term for assimilation? >> okay. take the first part of it. the first part? sorry. run it by me again. >> umm, -- [laughter] i think. >> yeah. >> yeah. >> what was your intention. >> thank you. >> what came out of the book it was perfectly understandable. if you read about how black people were treated when they integrated into white colleges and white people moved on madison avenue. your immediate reaction is going to be thanks, to thanks. we took care of other for 100 years we'll do it again. it was a perfectly understandable and emotional reaction to have. in many ways integrating was as car miking and people said it was a former cultural genocide. the assimilation was so horrible. you could not be yourself.
you could not have dread locks or impress yourself in any way or have any cultural black about you and be in the white person's world which has changed somewhat these cays. so my point was not to sort of blame black people for not wanting to integrate. it was a perfectly understandable and emotional reaction. the way they were treated during integration. if went down the cul-de-sacs it goes to your second question of, is integrate or assimilation and there's -- yes and no. because there's really sort of two forms of integration or two reasons to integrate in america. one, as martin martin luther king and many other people was largely a moral case. we so damaged the country. we are alienated from each other. there was so much friction and
hatred. which has been the story of i are same since day one. the way we can repair that alienation is know each other on a personal level. and from that point of view, whites and blacks, we have an equal responsibility to educate ourselves and try and know one another and respect one another and learn more about each other. the other sort of working definition of integration has more to do with gaining access to opportunity and power. being a disfranchised group and moving forward the center power so you can control how it is exirsed and you have access to the opportunity of the for the children. in that sense, we have all the money. we're here and in that sense of integration, white people are already integrated. we integrated because our grandparents did it for us. they did it for us. they were polish or italian or cay june or whatever they were.
assimilation was a for easier process for them. we are already integrated. we are going to hang out here and stay. and in that second definition of integration, more on minorities not the group to choose whether or not they want to. but to choose, you know, how close you want to bring yourself in to that white community and onus on -- so two different kinds of integration. one is yes, it's a form of assimilation. the other one has more to do with what we call diversity. >> and the section of your book talking about church and religion. you -- there was a whole history that played out where black catholics really did not want to leave their church, and you described the kind of architectural luxury in the white church and the difference
between what was . >> right. >> structurally. it took a long time, it seemed to me, when i read for the two masses of congregations to come together. they had a tradition. in the end everybody ended up picking up and going over to the white church. do you think another reason because the black community feels they are losing those institutions because they feel as if they're being -- integrations mean tick picking up when you have and moving over instead of the white community picking up and coming in with negotiations. >> white people aren't going to pick up and come this way. you can't integrate 65%. it won't happen. what happened in the town, the last chapped of the book is, i went age looked at churches. it's the most segregated place in america. whether or not you go to a religious church. we have something in our
church. whenever social entity you partake in. in louisiana it's you you nuke in the 1800 black and white people catholics went to church together. and it was okay. it wasn't great but, you know, we were urn under the same roof. along jim you -- jim crow. the catholic hire hierarchy for the sake of the piece give black people an optional church. it means jim crow. you have the little towns all over louisiana. they aren't big enough for one church. sometimes they are across the street from each other. it's not like baptist and methodist. it's the same. you go to one or the other it's the same mass. it's the craziest thing. there was one town that i wrote about in the book where you can tell in '64 a black man tried to
go to the white church. they beat him and assaulted him in church and threw him out. it was that the catalyst for the priest in the town to say all right. we are responsible for this. we started this. we are the one that split the constitutions in half. the only way we can be a whole town, one community is to be one church. and in many ways, they started off, you know, solomon being okay, we'll have one mass at the white church and one mass at the black church. they didn't make the black church come other to the white they came up with a new name, phone number, stationary, and it was all going very well until it came time to you have to pick one building. at the end of the day. only one building is big enough to hold everybody. that's the white church. the priest there at the time was very smart guy and he said this isn't about the building.
it's about how black people perceive they'll be treating in this new society we are attempting to form. if they feel in any way they feel like they are going to be treated by second class citizens. they're not coming. they're not giving up their building. what he proposed was let's remodel the interior of the church. it's time black used to have to sit inside the church. get rid of the jim crow pews. no one will have to sit on them. it will be a symbolic gesture. white people went ape shit. it's not about black people. you can't take our benches. and then that was sign of bat faith black people said we're not ready to treat us as we equal. we're going stay here. the integrate happened when the white community went out of the way in the '90s and '00 to make concrete gestures to say
you're, welcome here and what's fascinates at the end of the chapter. it's parallel to hurricane katrina. iter to up the black church. and they faced a choice. do we spend $10,000 putting a new roof or move into one building we should have been doing? and the difference between new orleans and the town the town spent 40 years of people trying to come to an understanding. they were able to integrate the church. and now you have what is a white church with the gospel choir. it's kind much, you know, it's what integration should be. it's not give up everything you own and come here and play by our rules. it's we share and respect each other, but at the end of the day, white people have a bigger roof if we're going to be under the same roof. >> for my final question, multiple times throughout the
been diversifying with. city schools are so bad people are getting out. that's part of the reason i wrote the book the way i did. focus on one high school, one advertising agency, one neighborhood in kansas city and one church was, you know, it's not really saying we have gotten better or. this is what happened at this school and i picked those four things school, neighborhood, workplace, and church these are all things question identify with. not all of us went to con -- you can take that experience and say this is how it was in my high school. you can relate to that. 0 so it's not universal -- i think universal principles in the book. we've been talking about integration. but as far as, like, what's getting better or, you know, where is it getting better? i think it's just far too nebulous to stay say.
>> what's next? >> for me? >> my wife wants me to do a book about gender basically that's basically guy going into the world of special work life balance stuff that's been flowing up. i enjoy a wonderful life with living and working from home and walking the dog and cooking dinner. my wife has a wonderful job where she has health insurance and stuff. if the people who run corporate america keep giving women a horrible time within that messes with my situation. [laughter] that is no good. so i think, you know, younger -- and it's absolutely true. the 50 and 60-year-old guy they have 1950 style marriages. they don't get the idea of a coequal marriage between partners. and so i don't know something about guys my age trying to make
balance and life better for women for our own sakes. [laughter] but again, true, we continue need to treat feminism like making men eat their vegetables because men suck. we need to be a better society and better society treat women and minorities better. it makes life better for me. i'm a more educated person for having done so. that's what is in the works. i'm thinking about it . >> thank you so much, tanner. we are happy to hear you speak. [applause] >> thank you. [applause] i want to give a special welcome and shoutout to van and grace and [inaudible] >> yeah. [applause] and there are many, many other people here in the book who deserve thanks as women. obviously, but it go